For the past two weeks, many people in Brandon have noticed a not-so-pleasant odor.
The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built in the 1980s, but the city's recent growth has made the odor much more noticeable.
Like in every city with a waste water lagoon, that bad odor comes around every spring and fall when the temperature changes. But things are starting to fell much worse in parts of Brandon where the city has grown right out to the lagoons.
"When I was in the car I smelled something stinky and thought, it's got to be the sewer plant," said 8-year-old Brandon resident Cole Stofferevahn.
"It's the poop-pond stink," said 4-year-old Carrison Tmekenmiller.
"It's probably three times a year…on those really hot days, it tends to you know, smell—but its not to the point where its affecting the kids health. Its not affecting them being able to go outside and play, it's just, you know noticeable," said Tera Stough, the owner of Honey Bee Academy located directly across from the wastewater lagoons.
"The odors are an aesthetic issue. They are not pleasant and at times they can be fairly intense depending on which way the wind is from," said Brandon City Administrator Bryan Read.
Especially for the homes and businesses that are now directly across the street from the wastewater lagoons.
"Thirty years ago when those lagoons were built, the town was no where near the lagoons," said Read.
Over the past 15 years, new developments have gone up right beside the lagoons. To combat the growing odor problem, the City of Brandon is diverting more wastewater to Sioux Falls' treatment plant.
"We typically pump about 300,000 gallons a day, we've tripled that to 1.2 to 1.3 million gallons a day.... that's really about all we can do at the moment is try to get as much water over there as we can," said Read.
Brandon has already raised their water and sewer rates this year to help offset the additional expenses and also plan for the future.
"Long term, we're currently evaluating building our own wastewater treatment facility in a different location. We had a recent wastewater study done last year, evaluating 5 or 6 different options that include expanding the current ponds, adding more aeration, pumping more or all of the wastewater to Sioux Falls or building our own facility," said Read.
While building a new wastewater facility would certainly help prevent the odor, some Brandon residents are concerned their water and sewer bills would rise even more to help pay for the major expense of building a new facility.
Right now the City of Brandon is still evaluating all of their options before coming up with a formal proposal to resolve the wastewater issue.
Friday, August 22 2014 4:53 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:53:07 GMT
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